Please see Mournful Sounds of the Night – Part One for the beginning of this story.
Fourteen year old Cassie awoke to mournful sounds. When her eyes opened, she realized she had been crying and moaning in her sleep. She remembered a man singing to her at night as he rocked her. She could almost hear his deep voice and felt so lonesome. She dreamed of the mournful sounds of hounds, too. She looked up at her board that read ‘Cassie’s Corner’. She wondered as always who painted it. It had pretty blue flowers on it and the words were dark pink. She always started getting a headache when she stared at it, for memories tried to spark something deep inside. Maybe Marky painted it.
“What is it, Baby? Why is Mommie’s little girl crying?” Darla came rushing to Cassie’s bed and hugged her. “There, there, it’s okay. Don’t be scared. Mommy is here,” she brushed Cassie’s hair off her wet cheeks. “She will be fine, Darla. You go on back to bed and I’ll sit with her till she falls asleep,” Marky pulled a chair up close to the bed then kissed Cassie on the forehead. Cassie lay back down and Marky tucked her in. He fell asleep in the chair before Cassie fell asleep. She lay there listening to him snore and felt comforted, but deep within she knew something was wrong in her life.
Darla was washing the breakfast dishes when she heard a knock on the door. Drying her hands on a ragged old dirty towel, she rushed to the door and opened it. An older man stood there. He took off his hat and held it in both hands. “Morning, Ma’am. Sorry to bother you so early, but I saw your “tractor for sale” sign out front. Me and my wife just bought a small farm right outside town and I am interested in getting a tractor. May I take a look at it?”
Darla invited the man in. She felt nervous, trying to remember what Marky told her about strangers. “Marky has gone to town and won’t be back for a little while yet. You can sit and wait for him.” The man sat down and looked up at her. “Marky? Is that your husband, Ma’am?” Darla was wringing the towel in her hands. “Yes, Marky is my husband. He’ll be here soon. Would you like some coffee?” The man sat his hat on the small table next to him. “Oh, no thank you, Ma’am. We just had some at the cafe’.” Darla looked out the window, hoping Marky would be coming, but didn’t see his truck. “Well, I gotta finish the dishes. You just relax, now.”
The man looked around the small cabin. It must be a one bedroom he thought, for there was a bed in one corner of the large room where he sat. A pretty young girl was sitting on the bed, mending some socks. He saw a sign on the wall above the bed. “Cassie’s corner, huh? You must be Cassie.”
The girl looked over at him. “Yes, sir, I am Cassie. But, everyone calls me Mary, that’s my first name. Mom and Marky told me not tell people to call me Cassie.” The man, smiled. “Well, then I will call you Mary. It’s a pretty name. Is Marky your Dad?” She looked puzzled and hesitated several seconds.
“I … I think so, but I never call him Dad. He is just Marky.”
“I see,” he stood, picked up his haat and walked to the kitchen door. “Ma’am? Excuse me, but I have to leave. I gotta get my wife home. She said she has some baking to do today. Is it okay if I come back a little later?” Darla was startled. She had been staring out the window, watching for Marky. “What? Oh! Oh, yes, that is fine. Thank you.” She seemed vague, distant. The man watched her as she turned back to the window. He stood there a few seconds then left.
The man drove into town and stopped at the sheriff’s office. He walked in and introduced himself. “Sheriff, I am Allan Morrison, retired sheriff of Fife, Washington. My wife and I just moved here to Idaho six months ago and bought a small farm out on Keefer Road.” They shook hands. “Yes, I know that farm. Once belonged to my brother-in-law. Here, sit down and we’ll have some coffee,” Sheriff Watson poured them each a cup.
Allan sat down and picked up the coffee mug, his hand shaking. he cleared his throat before he said, “Sheriff Watson, I have some distressing news for you about a kidnapping in Fife, about ten years ago.”
Marky and Darla were arrested and Cassie was in custody with Alan Morrison and his wife. He had called Charles and Megan Dawson in Fife and explained what happened. Megan was sobbing and crying so loudly it was hard to hear Charles, who obviously was quite emotional himself. “My wife and I will be there with your Cassie round nine o’clock tonight. I want to get her home to you as soon as possible.”
All the way, on the trip home, Cassie was in a state of emotional bursts, between sadness, anger and memories that were flooding back to her. She kept calling out to Daddy. She was so emotional that Mrs. Morrison sat in the back seat with her, giving as much comfort and hugs as needed. The mournful sounds Cassie was making were so hard to bear.
It was not long before Cassie could hear the mournful sounds of hounds on the farm.
© 2017 Phyllis Doyle Burns